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Sourdough Bread

October 16, 2010
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   I’ve been experimenting with sourdough breads this month. I haven’t had success creating a sourdough starter before, but I thought it was time to try again. I used Peter Reinhart’s method, which starts with whole wheat flour and pineapple juice, then transitions to whole  wheat flour and water, then just any kind of flour and water. It took me two weeks and two attempts, but I was successful. If you know me and live in the area, I can give you sourdough starter. Reinhart’s book says the starter needs refreshing every 5 days, but other sources say every 2 weeks is often enough, and that seems to be true. After a recent vacation, my starter worked just fine to make sourdough pancakes. This picture is from my first batch of sourdough bread. I made a regular loaf that wasn’t very exciting, but had a nice crust. So the second half of the dough I turned into rolls, which were excellent. Apparently sourdough develops more character over time, and the pumpernickel rye bread I baked yesterday tasted great. I’ve also made Pain au Levain, or naturally leavened bread, which tasted quite good, but wasn’t very photogenic.

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